The CBS News website has confirmed that the hit network program 60 Minutes will air a segment on November 30th called “The Cheaters”.This segment is rumored to be a joint investigation by 60 Minutes and the Washington Post into the world of online poker cheating; and it is set to be the lead segment on next Sunday’s program.
Many poker players and industry insiders have been worried about the content of the segment ever since news of The Cheaters surfaced several months ago.Since the UIGEA was signed into effect in 2006, the poker industry has been doing everything in its power to restore the legitimacy of online poker; a negative segment on a show as popular as 60 Minutes could set the industry back.
The best synopsis of the segment’s content is given by the CBS site itself which states, “A collaboration by two of the world's most respected news organizations reveals how online poker players suspecting cheating were forced to successfully ferret out the cheaters themselves.That's because managers of the mostly-unregulated $18 billion Internet gambling industry failed to respond to their complaints.”
One of the players who raised a red flag in the suspected cheating issue was poker pro Todd Witteles, who believed a certain player was winning too much of his money based on poor poker odds.He told 60 Minutes, “He was raising, just really, really bad hands against very good hands. He seemed to play crazy.It seemed like he was giving his money away.Except the only thing was, he wasn't losing.He was playing in a style that was sure to lose, but he was killing the game day after day.”
The CBS website also stated that the motivation for The Cheaters segment came from the recent Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker scandals.In the case of both scandals, certain players were able to see everyone else’s poker hands thus giving them a huge advantage.Text from the website said, “The cheating, which netted the cheaters more than $20 million, occurred on two of the Internet's most popular sites, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.The two sites operate out of a shopping mall in Costa Rica and run their games on computer servers housed on an Indian reservation outside of Montreal.”
Mike Sexton – who is regarded by many as poker’s unofficial ambassador – and 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer are two of the people who have been interviewed for the segment.The Cheaters airs this Sunday at 7pm ET.